Not much of a Newsflash: Making true fans doesn’t have to involve the internet.
I was at a show last night here in Belfast, where the lights were low, the atmosphere was appreciative, the audience was attentive, the beer was good and the musicians were excellent. It’s rare when all of these things combine in a live show, especially one where the bill is entirely local.
Farriers were one of the bands who played – they often play as a 5-piece and their alt-folk, good time-y stomp is something I’ve been a fan of for a while. Tonight it was just Rachel & Stephen though – guitars and voices.
I’ve had the good fortune to hear Farriers’ soon-to-be-released debut album and it is great. But there was a point last night where Stephen decided to step out from behind the microphone and deliver one of the tunes un-amplified, the title track to the album “Years Ago In Our Backyard”.
It was a wonderful moment – a great song, well played, well sung and real. It elicited the kind of feeling I’m always seeking when I listen to music – a feeling of being grounded, authentic, present yet at the same time shaken, unsure. It’s a nice paradox.
But what is most interesting is what that moment is doing to me today. 24 hours later I’m still thinking about how I felt during that song – how that song and that performance made me feel. And it is such a good feeling, I’m thinking about how to feel that way again. The closest thing I can think of is listening to the record, and that’s what I fully intend to do – repeatedly – when I get home.
And that made me think of a lot of the other records that’ve become staples for me – all of the other records (YFIIP by Broken Social Scene, for example, or Radiohead’s KidA) I’ve been eager to share with my friends, records I’ve listened to so much that I physically can’t listen to them any more. And they all, at some point or another, involved an experience like the one I had last night. The records were always good, but there was a moment in the artist’s live show that solidified their greatness in my ears.
In other words, I became a true fan. Which means I will give them all my moneys.
Among all the other ways people talk about nowadays to make true fans – amazing records, email campaigns, “social media strategies” (boke), interesting direct to fan hoo-haas – live doesn’t lie. If you can somehow get them to your show and completely blow peoples minds like Farriers did last night, I think you’re onto something.
Keep an eye on www.farriers.bandcamp.com for details on the imminent release of “Years Ago In Our Backyard”